Hi, I am Naseem. When she has to write this column, my mother always asks us for help. What should I write, children?
Sahar gives big-big answers. Aliza says ice cream. Tell parents to give ice cream to their children. Aliza wants chocolate ice cream all the time. I just want what they have.
I am a big girl. I am three years old. My mother says I dance like Govinda. Govinda must be a funny dancer. I know some poems also. I like the iPod. I know stories.
The goodbye: A child’s first day at school can be tough for mothers. Photo by Thinkstock.
I want to go to school. Mamma keeps saying that she will send me to school but she doesn’t. I am worried for her. Sometimes she is just a timidapoo. That means a person who gets scared easily.
My sisters go to school in a big yellow bus. I will go in a small yellow bus. I have a bag and a water bottle. I also have a school uneeforum. Mum tried it on me the other day and then took it off quickly. She spoke to her friend on the phone for a long time after that.
Mum says she doesn’t want anyone to tell me which colour to choose when I am colouring. I like colouring. And drawing. I make big hats on everyone’s head when I make cards. It makes them laugh. Aliza makes rainbows for me to colour.
I want to eat tiffin from a tiffin box. I like children. When I meet my sisters’ teachers, they always give me toffees.
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Mamma was saying to Papa the other day that she worries about how big people speak to me. She doesn’t like little children’s annual day functions. But she always claps a lot and takes photos. She takes off her glasses and wipes her eyes. So I don’t know what she was talking about. Maybe this is about the little ones who cry on stage and want to go to their Mammas. Like I told you, I am a big girl.
I know how to talk to people. Sahar teaches me. She says if anyone says anything bad to you just give them a big “ghoosa”. She shows me with her fists. That makes me laugh. I can give anyone a ghoosa.
My mother has a toilet problem also. I like toilets. Toilet paper and scented soap and that machine on the wall that makes a whoosh noise. We giggle and dry our hands. When Mum is in a good mood, she takes photos of us making funny faces in the mirror.
But most of the time she is very strict in toilets. DON’T TOUCH ANYTHING! She says that a lot. It is difficult for me to not touch anything. I will fall in the pot. I hug her legs and sit. She’s funny, my Mamma.
But wait. This is about school. Not toilets.There are yellow tiles in the school toilet that Mum and I went to check the other day. She liked that. We also looked at the playroom. Full of toys and puzzles. And big-big swings in the sand. I loved it. But my Mum, she looked at everything with her hand on her mouth. Scaredypoo Mamma!
Oh, the doorbell is ringing. I have to go and get my polio drops. I like them, the polio drop didis. They look nice and smile at me. One day my mother got upset with a didi. Your hands are dirty, you should clean your nail polish before you put polio drops in children’s mouths, she said to the didi.
I like washing my hands. I play in the mud a lot.
I think grown-ups are very tense people. When she will meet you, my mother will smile sweetly and laugh and all. But when she is alone, I have to entertain her a lot.
“I’m not sure Naseem can stay away from us for so long,” she said to Papa today. He laughed and said, “She will be just fine. She won’t even think of you.”
I went to her with my puzzle box and made her make puzzles. She is easy to distract.
So please talk to my mother. Also talk to her after I have gone to school. Take her out for a pastry. Because I don’t want her to cry when I am away. She is a big crybaby, this Mamma of mine. Sometimes.
Talking about her is making me miss her. Now I am going to climb into her lap.
Natasha Badhwar is a film-maker, media trainer and mother of three.
Write to Natasha at firstname.lastname@example.org